Really eZFunds – A Proptech-Fintech collaborative first – helps SMEs in the real estate and construction industry with upfront financing
Really Singapore, a proptech start-up specialising in a full-suite cloud-based data-driven property management software solution, and Validus, Singapore’s largest SME financing platform, have partnered to enable pre-approved working capital for SMEs who provide products and services to property owners. Their product is named Really eZFunds.
Really Singapore is a next-generation, data-centric B2B platform designed specifically to cater to end-to-end facility and property management capabilities with e-tendering functions held within a Marketplace. Really Singapore – Property-Service-as-a-Solution automates end-to-end processes for fit-outs, maintenance and reinstatement of properties; simplifying workflows digitally.
Really Singapore’s vendor marketplace comprises over 3,800 suppliers providing services to property managers across more than 80 specialised categories including landscaping, building supplies, construction works, cleaning services, pest control, security and more. The majority of these SMEs are often unable to obtain the necessary financing to bid for projects as they lack collateral or credit history to access traditional loans.
Really eZFunds powered by Validus, a proptech-fintech collaborative first, accords SME suppliers access to Validus’ pre-approved instant financing for up to $50,000 at competitive, bank-like rates.
Validus was founded in 2015 to address the unmet financing needs of SMEs, Validus is today Singapore’s largest SME financing platform with a growing presence in Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. Validus uses Data Analytics and AI to drive growth financing to underserved SMEs via funds from accredited and institutional investors. An award-winning Fintech, Validus has forged industry-leading partnerships with Corporates (blue-chip companies, government-linked companies) and B2B platforms to deploy solutions that boost SME lending in local supply chains.
Really Singapore and Validus said that in addition pre-approved instant financing for up to $50,000 at competitive rates, Really eZFunds may provide higher amounts within 48 hours of due diligence assessment. Its flexible pay-per-use arrangement allows vendors to improve cash flow and liquidity whenever required, without any collateral requirements.
This facility, designed to be seamless and easy to apply for, will accord vendors the ability to take on more work. And in a move that seeks to turn the property industry on its head, property owners will also benefit from incentives paid by the loan disburser.
In a speech last year, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, mentioned being united in supporting SMEs to contribute more to Singapore’s GDP. He cites the challenge on how we can get SMEs to be much more efficient, much more productive, and much more competitive.
“Really eZFunds powered by Validus, the result of a customer-centric strategic alliance between Really Singapore and Validus, can contribute to making SMEs more efficient, productive and competitive by giving them access to pre-approved working capital that will in turn help them tender for more projects and fund their wins,” said Joerg Zeugner, CEO of Really Singapore.
“Our partnership with Really Singapore reiterates Validus’ commitment to bridge the SME financing gap and to build a strong economic foundation for businesses to grow,” said Anand Periwal, Chief Commercial Officer of Validus.
Singapore was recently named the world’s third most innovative city in JLL’s Innovation Geographies study. Driving this Proptech wave is the Singapore government’s Smart Nation initiative that was kicked off in 2014, laying the formative ecosystem for a thriving digital economy. The Built Environment Industry Transformation Maps launched in 2017 and 2018 to provide future-readiness roadmaps for the real estate and construction industries were catalysts for proptech development and adoptions.
The upcoming Punggol Digital District will incorporate Open Digital Platform, helping to push the proptech boundary further. By integrating smart city solutions such as facilities, building and estate management systems, the platform will not only centralize the management of all the district’s operations, but also provide relevant data for the development of innovative digital and urban solutions for the district. Additionally, through a digital replica, the district will act as a test-bed for proptech innovations.
Real estate companies are also playing an active role in developing the local proptech scene. For example, JLL and Lendlease, two leading international real estate companies, have jointly launched the Singapore-based Propell Asia proptech accelerator program to help startups access the real estate value chain. Five startups from a range of categories were selected to work with industry players to implement their products and solutions.
Property developers have also jumped on the bandwagon with Capitaland setting up a SGD 110 million startup fund focusing on real estate technology and customer solutions. Meanwhile, City Developments Limited is collaborating with Chinese co-working operator Distrii to develop smart building apps aimed at benefiting tenants and residential home buyers.
Mr Paul Ho, chief mortgage officer at iCompareLoan, said: “Three local banks in Singapore have also launched their own proptech initiatives.”
DBS Bank has launched DBS Property Marketplace which provides property listings from Edgeprop, Averspace and SoReal while providing home buyers with digital features such as projecting the impact on monthly cash flow that a property purchase would bring. OCBC Bank has launched the OCBC OneAdvisor platform, which allows buyers to do home searches based on affordability criteria with the listings coming from EdgeProp, 99.co and SoReal. UOB has collaborated with four property agencies – ERA Realty, Huttons Asia, OrangeTee & Tie and PropNex Realty and a proptech company, SoReal Prop to launch a range of digital tools such as a property valuation tool and an online instant home loan approval service.
These collaborations allow incumbents to gain access to innovative approaches and solutions while startups and tech firms obtain access to capital and an avenue to implement their solutions across a wide network of properties owned or managed by the incumbents, or gain access to a large retail banking customer base.